Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Scent

This evening I sprayed on a couple blasts of Sasha's left behind 'Extreme Rockin' Power' body spray and I was instantly reminded of the anti-mosquito stuff my father brought along when we went fishing. He had gotten the stuff at the Army Surplus, left over from the Pacific Island battles of World War Two. The scent was sharp and acrid and the stuff actually tinted the skin a bit, like a light varnish. The mosquitoes didn't like it at all, and it seemed to repel other people pretty well too.  This evening, I was transported by the scent, to a Lodgepole Pine thicket at the edge of a lake, tall grass in a meadow, a bed of rocks in shallow water and trout leaping just beyond the rocks, where the shelf fell away to the deep and the water turned green, catching the final rays of sunlight on silver flanks. The mosquitoes had risen like mist from the grass in the meadow and from the verge of the forest. The breeze rose and a chill descended as soon as the sun sank behind the shoulders of the hills. We tied on new flies and buttoned our jackets and waded out toward the end of the shelf while we could still see the rocks beneath our feet. The cold white eye of the half moon replaced the steady gaze of the sun and the breeze snatched at the odors  of the grass and the sigh of the forest and the flesh of the fish in our creels and the gurgling brook as it emerged from the brambles and the night that had already fallen in the thickets and the sweet smelling smoke from my father's pipe, and that sharp and acrid stinging scent of the mosquito ointment from the Army Surplus. My father was there. My brother was there. And I was there. I remember. I am there with them still.

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